Do you use Twitter, that short, succinct message system? I don’t but as of last weekend the Tuis have definitely been in touch with each other in their own twittering way.
You may remember my post at the beginning of the month detailing the facilities we offer to Tui. At that point I was still waiting for a Tui to find and drink from the nectar feeder we have put up in the garden to supplement their food supply. Well someone has sent out a “tweet” in the Tui world…..
My patience has been rewarded with Tui now calling regularly to the feeder and, along with the many wax-eyes who visit it, cause it to empty in around 48 hours.
We have all enjoyed watching the Tuis arrive and drink their fill of the sugar/water combination. While taking sharp, close-up photos has been a challenge, we have been able to spy their long, narrow yellow tongue which they use to brush nectar from flowers and which plays some role in their ability to drink.
The proximity of large trees near to the feeder seems to be helpful. Tui, from my observations, prefer to be in taller trees and thrive on bouncing from limb to limb to eat. There are times when they bounce on to the fence,
along the fence
and then on to the feeder.
They are nervous and watchful and generally do not loiter, although on rare occasions one might perch on the fence and sing for us briefly. Generally they prefer to sing from this tall Magnolia.
I hope you can see something of their gorgeous plumage. On sunny days this is particularly striking with its turquoise iridescence set against strong black and white feather patterning.
What a delight to have Tui call in the garden in such a clear vantage spot.